Monday, January 12, 2015

So.. Who am I?

I think it'd be best if you guys got to know me a little before I get back to sharing my opinions and reviews, so let's get started!
Hi, my name is Gil Tarablus, I'm 18 years old. I live in Israel and I'm a high school senior.
My first gaming console was a Playstation 2 which I received as a gift from my uncle back in 2002, although the first console I ever put my hands on was my cousins' SNES. Since the PS2, I've owned a GBA, NDS, PSP, PS3, X360, and a Vita. Since mid 2013 I've converted to PC gaming. I found myself giving up my enormous PS3 library for the cheap and tempting Steam store, in which I currently over 100 games.
My current PC rig as actually a laptop. You see, I'm an awful PC gamer. Not only do I insist on laptops, I almost never play games with a mouse and keyboard! Unless it's game dear to my heart like Heroes of Might and Magic III or Age of Mythology, I simply refuse to use a mouse and keyboard. If game doesn't have native controller support, it's an automatic NO from me. Can you hear the PC purist mob on it's way to get me? Yup, let them come.
Anyways, getting back to my rig, I own an MSI GT70 Dominator Pro, equipped with an Intel core i7-4810MQ, 12 GB of juicy RAM and a former top-of-the-line GTX 880m w/ 8GB GDDR5. Isn't that mouthful?

On to my games- I'm an avid Action-RPG fan, more of a rare beat 'em up crossed with certain if not heavy RPG elements, sort of like God of War, Kingdom Hearts, DmC/DMC.
I'm also an FPS fan, but a single player rather than a multiplayer focused game, a la Borderlands series, Bioshock, etc...
Now finally on to me- I'm a lazy fuck. That is the best description one can have for me. Although I'm a big sports fan, mainly Football and Volleyball, I'm currently at a stage where I just don't get in many active hours. Same for my school work, I find it extremely hard to it down and study, and I'm fully aware to this problem. I m putting in an effort to finish off this last semester the best I can though, so don't worry about me.
I think that's about it, I'm sure more of my traits will pop up in future posts. 
'Till the next time, Good Gaming!

2015- A New Year, an Old Passion

It's been about 3 years(!!!) since I was actively updating my small and modest blog. 3 Years that have changed me so much, mainly in a personal kind of way. I've had my ups and downs, although mainly downs, but what stayed by my side, what kept me sane and dare I even say alive at times, was gaming. As sad as that may sound for many people, having something you're good at without a doubt that no one can ever take away from you is something I wish for everyone of you reading this.
With this in mind, I realize that maybe, just maybe, I could make something out of my gaming skills. Put all those hours, days, months and years I spent with a controller in my hand- worthwhile.  So here I am, starting what hopefully will be the first of many posts in what could be my most important chapter of my life. For those who haven't realized what I'm mumbling on about, a dream come true for me would be a job in the gaming field. and so I've got to start somewhere. I am officially resurrecting Gaming as a Lifestyle.
Here's hoping I actually manage to commit to this, for once in my life.
Thanks to all the three people that will eventually read this, let's hope there'll be a fourth one in my next post. Good Gaming.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Xbox is holding back the PS3

It's well known thath the PS3's hardware is far superior and up to date that the 360's. So why is it even a competetion? Well, the way developers program games is what's holding them back.

You see, it's much easier for say, EA to develop FIFA first for a weaker system and than port it to a more capable system. This makes games look most of the time WORSE on the PS3 rather the X360 because of a poor port, or just something specific that the X360 has and the PS3 doesn't, and the devs weren't bothered to replace that software/hardware with something capable of simulating what the X360 has. (Sorry for confusion)

Look at PS3 exclusives. Uncharted, God of War, Resistance, Killzone, Heavy Rain, the latest Kora demo from quantic dreams, you don't see those kind of stuff in the 360 do you? The best looking exclusives for consoles are without a competition on the PS3, but the majority of multiplatform games are lacking on the PS3, and as a dedicated PS3 fan and as someone who buys all his games, I demand equality between the multiplatform!
I payed for a more expensive console, promising me Blu Ray but what I really get is HD DVD quality games. Let the Xbox exclusives be superior to multiplatform, but keep it equal when it comes for multiplatform.

If devs would take the time to port games slowly and making sure there are no gamebreakers like FPS drops or missing textures, the PS3 versions will be far better! Take Beyonetta for example. A masterpiece on 360, but horrible on PS3! Why? Because of poor porting! FPS drops, textures popping in and out, input lag and many more problems due to devs being lazy and instead of delaying the release dates of the title they prefer to release a broken game.

This brings me to my next point, when the WiiU will be released, devs will be forced to up they're porting process and maybe even port from top down, from the strongest console to the weakest making the PS3's closer to WiiU rather than the Xbox. Plus, as I mentioned on a previous post, the WiiU's tablet controller features can be easily translated to the PSVita and make a WiiU like experience on the PS3.

Some of these are facts and some are opinions, I think I made obvious what's what.
Thanks for reading and good gaming!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Demon's Souls- Hardest Game of this Generation?

Gaming's difficulty level have definitely gone down since the consoles of the 21st century came in. The hardest games of all time still remain in the 80's and 90's. The Silver Surfer, Battletoads and TMNT are some of the hardest games ever made.

But with the entry of the original PlayStation and later the PS2, Xbox and GameCube, a very important feature became easily attainable, saving. You play regularly, reach a save point, save, and never have to replay the entire section up to the save ever again. What made the previously mentioned games a living hell was that game over meant GAME OVER. You had to start the entire game all over again!
But Demon's Souls.. ohhh Demon's Souls how you managed to piss me and million others off. Demon's Souls utilizes the Auto Save function embedded with today's consoles to make the game a pain in the ass for us all. The game saves after EVERYTHING! Every enemy you kill, every body you loot and every item you drop, the game saves. You die, but switched off the console before the dying animation was over in hope so save your hard earned souls? Fuck you. The game saved. That's what makes DS so hard! It's brutal, and it will never give you a bonus for your actions. You earn everything in the game! Every soul is hard earned, every shard of Xstone is one you'll utilize for a better weapon.
One of many HUGE Demon bosses

Another thing about Demon's Souls is, well, Demon souls. What to do with them. to forge them into a special weapon? Into a miracle? Spell? Or maybe consume them and purchase 2 stats? For me, as a trophy hunter the decision is a but easier, cause if I want the Platinum I need every speel, miracle and special weapon. In other words, 3 playthroughs! And Apparently, New Game+ is way harder than the 1st game so I'm a bit scared.
Losing souls is definitely the biggest loss when dying, cause souls really are everything in DS, from buying grass to assigning soul stats. With every soul level added the cost for one grows a certain amount. By level 70 the cost for a single stat will be around the 23,000! That's a lot of souls for those who don't know.. :P
Unlike other modern games, Demon's Souls only checkpoints are the beginning of each stage in a world, which makes 4 checkpoint in 5 worlds. You die anywhere in between and you won't teleport back to the closest Archstone (what the gates are called) but rather to the one belonging to the stage you died in. So you could die right behind 1-3 Archstone losing 40,000 souls but you will need to go through all of 1-2 for the chance to get those souls back. Yup that sucks.
He'll get nowhere with that amount of souls ;)

Demon's Souls online servers are CLOSING 31st of May at 11:59 PM so if you still haven't tried it out, this is your chance before you'll be forced to go straight to Dark Souls for the online features.

Thanks for reading, and Good Gaming!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Platinuming The Force Unleashed 2

First of all, sorry for the brief disappearance. I had a little overload with school and I had no time or inspiration to write here. But I'm back, so all's good!

Now, I have been busy with games in the mean time, specifically one. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2. For those who remember my game collection post would know this isn't a new game I just got. No no, I have this since the end of august. Along with other games like Portal 2, Borderlands, Crysis 1 and a few more, this marks a beginning, a beginning of something I've been way to lazy to do. I've Platinumed a game of old. A game of old is a game that is easy to Plat, and I have for over six months.
But I'm here to talk about TFU2.

TFU2 is kind of an easy game to plat, as long as you have the skills to finish it on Unleashed. It's no easy task, you can be sure of that. The enemies are extremely powerful, the life you get from killing enemies is low as shit, and the force regeneration along with the use of the force powers is a bitch! But with enough patience and maybe someone with you to keep you calm, it's a fun thing to do. By the end of the game you should get the hang of how to deal with every enemy easily and you should feel like a very powerful force.
Speaking of the force, the trophy "Use the force, Luke" can be a real bitch. It tells to ONLY use force powers for an entire level. Easy right? Well, yes and no. Yes cause it's easy but no cause it actually means "Don't press square. Ever". So you pressed square anytime during the level and your quite fucked. But doing this on the first level on easy shouldn't take you longer the 5 minutes.

The challenge trophies are not as bad as one might think. Then again, you need the skills for at least a gold in every challenge. And again, someone by your side keeping you cool. You should do this BEFORE your unleashed playhrough due to extra force points being earned and Lightsaber crystals that could help you in the playthrough.
The actual Platinum in my trophy library.

I really like TFU series. It's a freakin' hack n slash in the Star Wars universe, my favorite genre with the universe that's responsible for my favorite weapon, dropkicked Ewoks. Kidding it's the Lighstaber but common, who the hell couldn't keep a straight face when they first drop kicked an Ewok on Endor?!
Anyways, TFU 2 was my 8th platinum. I'm proud of myself actually reaching out of the GoW series and platinuiming a bigger variety of games. My next platinum's should be: The Sly Trilogy, Borderlands, Crysis and maybe AC:Revelations.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Castlevania : Lords of Shadow Review

I've never played a Cstlevania before. Just wanted to get that out there because most of the reviews I've read have the constant "This is not Castlevania" remark. But frankly, I don't care whether or not this is similar to a classic game from the 90's, I enjoyed, and still am enjoying the game for what it is- a 3rd person hack n' slash with its graphics being the best part of it all.

In Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, you play as Gabriel, a Brotherhood member who lost his loved one. Gabriel is on a quest to first seek his loved one and eventually turns into a quest to defeat the Lords of Shadow.

The story is told in a little awkward way that only the patient gamers will get to enjoy. I myself am not patient enough to wait in the now finished loading screen to hear the end of what Patrick Stewart has to say about Gabriel. The story is also partially told through scrolls you pick up from dead body's that also give you hints about puzzles and an easy way out on the expense of the bonus EXP points you get for spending on new combos and moves.
This brings to another downside of the game- too many combos. The game offers a combo purchase menu where you spend points you earned from killing enemies, solving puzzles, completing quick time events and for finishing a level. But the combos that are offered are not add-ons to your current Square mashing attack, but rather different ways to execute an either weak heavy attack that'll cost you more life than you would've lost if you stuck with square mashing, or simply another way to mash the square button. With that said, the game does offer lots of special kind of attacks, or rather dispensable weapons with likes of throwing knives, holy water bottles, fairies to distract and stun foes, or an amazingly powerful daemon creature that kills all enemies that surround you.

Fans of the God of War series will feel most at home with Castlevania's combat, the simple Square mashing combos can be enough to get you through the entire game with a little quick time events to make your life much easier. But despite being able to play with one combo, the game is incredibly difficult. Enemies are very powerful on "Hard" difficulty (2nd hardest out of 4, hardest must be unlocked by finishing the game).
The game does make a good job balancing this with something the GoW fans will be very familiar with- a "Super" form. Castlvevania offers 2 different forms, Light form and Shadow form. Light form replenishes your health with every attack made, depending on how strong the enemy is. The Shadow form is what GoW fans would be more familiar with, an extremely powerful form that deal about a1/3-1/2 more damage than regular attacks. This works very well and replenishing your magic meters consists of collecting "Neutral magic" orbs that are dropped by dead enemies, or if you chain enough attacks together without getting hit you will enter a state where every attack that's landed drops a ton of magic.
The game get easier as you progress, probably due to you getting better and learning enemy patters, and increasing both your life, light and shadow gauges with collectible gems spread around each level.

The games best aspect is undoubtedly the graphics. The environments are so rich and filled with color, you would do anything to see more of them! The character's models look great, with the exception of Gabriel's head being a little to small for his big body. Just sayin'.
The enemies look gruesome and disgusting, just as you'd expect Goblins, Vampires, Demons, wild Beasts, Werewolves and Chupakabras to be. Speaking of Chupakbra, this is enemy is annoying as fuck! What he does is take you on a little hide and seek game around mid game till the end, but the catch is that he takes all your relics and powers making you week and slow.
Back to graphics, Castlevania's landscapes are very detailed and there's nothing like seeing a giant castle starting to show in far distance. The boss fights tend to have you fight a giant statue or creature and using quick time events to either hurt the enemy or stun it so you can go in for an attack. These boss' especially the giant stone/titan boss' look amazing and gorgeous! When you see them from a distance you never think you'll see it from up close, but when you do you'll be amazed from the detail they put into the titan's body and visuals.
The game does have little FPS problems, where it could drop even in a cutscene, but mostly during gameplay. This can be an annoyance at times and a bit distracting but you get used to it pretty quickly,
Speaking of cutscenes, the uses the ingame engine to do the cutscenes and has a very smooth transaction from gameplay to cutscene, without having to sit though a loading screen or even a second of a black frame! And the cutscenes look absolutely amazing, but again, they show how small Gabriel's head is.

The game's sound and voice acting is nothing out of the ordinary, at least it didn't do anything special that caught my attention with the exception of Patrick Stewart narrating during the load screens and acts as a supporting character, Zobek.

After spending hours with the game, and a few moments of frustration I actually enjoy Castlevania: Lords of Shadow and I am planning on platinuming it eventually. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is definitely a game that fans of GoW, Datne's Inferno or even Darksiders should at least give it a try.
With that said, the poor story telling doesn't ruin the experience, you can get a pretty clear idea from the cutscenes alone.

Gameplay: Fun and easy Hack N' Slash combat with needles combos for purchase.- 8.0
Story: Poorly told and only true fans of the series or interested and gamers will get into it.- 5.0
Sound: Nothing special, with the exception of Professor X lending his voice for the loading screen and for Zobek.- 7.0
Graphics: One of the best looking games from a 3rd party developer I've ever seen, the FPS drop doesn't hurt the experience and Gabriel's head is a minor distraction. (No pun intended. Actually it was.)- 9.0
OVERALL------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 8.5!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Vita's True Potential- Advantages over the PSP

The PSP was undoubtedly a failure. From it's 2004 launch to current day, 2012, the PSP has undergone over 3 changes in size, shape and look. Better screen, no WiFi, smaller, no UMD drive-- Sony have tried it all but with no success.
One of the most requested features of the
Vita- Dual analog sticks.
With the launch of the PSVita a lot of the PSP's weak spots have been patched and eliminated. Dual analog sticks, up to date hardware and no more silly mini discs to lose or break, the Vita has potential. But the one thing the Vita cannot eliminate and what was the biggest issue with the PSP, is the the hacking- the PSP was so easily hacked even the dumbest of people could check a guide on the internet and have their PSP hacked and loaded with any game they desired in less than an hour. Although the PSVita has yet to be fully hacked, it's inevitable that the Vita will be hacked, and as soon as that happens 3rd party developers will lose interest in making AAA games for the Vita because the odds of actually gaining an income will be incredibly low to non existent.
I admit I'm a long time PSP hacker, but that's just because of the horrible quality games that came out. Please don't hate me and bear with me. I'm 90% sure I will NOT hack the PSVita when I receive mine in November, for the reason that I wan't the network features, the exact same reason I don't hack my PS3 and I still have a big library of games and I enjoy my PS3 very much!
The Vita hacked to play PS3 games, not only as the controller
but as the screen as well.
Another thing the Vita improves is the cross platforming feature it has with the PS3. The most the PSP had was controlling the PS3 (with incredible lag btw) and seeing the XMB on the PSP's screen. That's the most the PSP could do. The Vita on the other hand already has games that support swapping saves for on the go gameplay. In the future I'm sure we'll see the exact same type of control the WiiU has with their big ass tablet controller right in our hands with the vita and PS3.The lack of four buttons can be annoying, but can easily be fixed with the touch screen and/or the rear touch pad. The potential is massive in this particular department, we only need Sony to take a chnce with this and enable this for developers. Imagine a world where games are not programmed for the Xbox, ported to the PS3 and remade or not even released for the Wii, but rather games made on the PS3, ported to the WiiU (Due to the PS3 presumably being weaker than the WiiU, thus making it easier to develop and then port to WiiU. Search online for the way games are released  for the PS3 and Xbox for further information.) and only then being remade or ported with much less features to Xbox, due to the ability of the Vita to work as a WiiU controller. I don't hate the Xbox, it's an amazing system and I'd love to own one, but I do hate how games with great potential are lowered to fit the power of the Xbox instead of fitted for the power of the PS3. Just look at Uncharted and God of War! solid FPS, amazing HD graphics and sharp detail! Now look at Castlevania: Lords of Shadow-- one of the best 3rd party games I've seen in a while, but isn't in the same league as GoW or Uncharted are due to the fact that it was firstly made to fit the Xbox rather than the PS3. I'm heading off topic here, but I promise an entire post dedicated to the difference in development.
A perfect example for the evolution of the Sony handhelds
To conclude, the PSVita has a huge advantage over the PSP and could easily be a hit for Sony, if only they treat it right and maybe try out my idea. That'll mean they will stay in the console war and be a heavy competitor for the WiiU for years to come!

Thank you for reading, and I'd appreciate if you'd take a minute to share my blog with fellow gamer friends!
Good Gaming!